-by Pavithra K. Mehta (Oct 21, 2011)
Dr. Govindappa Venkataswami, also known as Dr. V, held himself and his team to a set of powerful, unwritten directives.
Stay rooted in compassion. Skillfully channeled, compassion can drive and dictate inclusion, equality, efficiency, excellence, and scale. It can do this in such a way that each of these elements reinforces the others and strengthens the whole. When combined, it creates a finely tuned system that benefits all.
Serve and deserve. The austere constraint of self-reliance that Dr. V imposed on Arivind unleashed hidden reserves. When the core of your energy and attention is focused on serving unconditionally, the boundaries of your perception shift. You discover value and relevance in unexpected places. The work acquires a magnetic, generative force. It builds trust and goodwill. It sustains and aligns resources with the mission in ways that money alone cannot.
Create a movement, not dominance. Early on, Aravind recognized the wisdom of training the competition. Hoarding expertise limits impact. Sharing your strengths amplifies the effect of the work many fold. It inspires higher standards, broad participation, and vibrant cross-learning. It extends your reach to new shores. You build a resilient brand based on relationships and mutual respect that has little to do with an advertising budget. In this way, you tap into collective possibilities that far surpass proprietary efforts.
Practice for perfect vision. Dr. V believed that the evolution of an organization ultimately hinges of the evolution of the individuals within it. And that clarity in thought and action requires a discipline of mind and heart. He believed that when you sharpen in self-awareness and commit to pushing the boundaries of your compassion, you tap into a deeper wisdom that informs and transforms your work. You become a more conscious instrument of your highest calling.
“Sometimes powerful, higher forces act on your life. As these times you must tray and be still, because otherwise they cannot stay,” said Dr. V in a reflective moment. “You must step back and stay calm … and you must take time to see the sky.”
“We can combine modern technology and management with spiritual practice.”
“Intelligence and capability are not enough. There must be the joy of doing something beautiful.”
“When we grow in spiritual consciousness, we identify with all that is in the World. And there is no exploitation. It is ourselves we are helping. It is ourselves we are healing.”
–by Pavithra K. Mehta in “Infinite Vision, How Aravind Became the World’s Greatest Business Case for Compassion.” 2011.